The warm weather is back and it’s time to give your body, mind and spirit some spring cleaning with a juice fast. The right juicer makes all the difference in the taste and nutrient value of the juice as well as the ease of use and clean-up.
Centrificating or basket juicers are tempting due to their low cost. They are the least efficient, meaning you get less juice. They also heat the juice resulting in oxidation which destroys much of its nutritional value. You may notice a darker color, a metallic taste or lots of foam. Many don’t handle leafy greens well, such as kale. They can be hard to clean and don’t withstand daily use.
Masticating worm gear juicers are a better choice. These crush the produce around an worm shaped augur. Masticating juicers extract more juice for the same amount of produce without heating it, and are easy to clean. Even more efficient is a triturating juicer, which crushes the produce between two gears. These machines are slower and some force is required for root vegetables such as carrots. Triturating juicers are excellent for juicing wheatgrass. There is a clear difference in taste, kick and amount of juice over a masticating juicer.
The most efficient and expensive juicer is the hydraulic press. Most work in two stages. The first triturates or cuts up the produce. Then the produce is placed in a filter cloth and pressed. A hydraulic press juicer produces 50 – 100 % more juice for the same amount of produce. According to one company, the nutrient content is two to five times greater. It’s a difference I can taste and feel. This kind of juicer is also most time consuming to use, but the juice from a hydraulic press can be stored for three days. Juice from any other type of juicer should be consumed right away. The Gerson Institute recommends a hydraulic press juicer for their cancer and other disease management programs.
There isn’t a perfect juicer. For instance, I use a hydraulic press juicer for most juicing, but find the masticating worm gear juicer superior for wheat grass.
My favorite book on juice fasting, Juice Fasting and Detoxification by Steve Meyerowitz, as well as many others, advocate carrot juice. Nearly everyone today has some degree of insulin resistance which is aggravated by the sugars in carrot juice. I cannot recommend it. Instead, I recommend a base of 80% celery and cucumber and 20% leafy greens, sprouts or non-sweet root vegetables such as radish, turnip or burdock. Lemon, lime, Granny Smith apple, pepper and ginger can be added for flavor.